Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam

Hot Pepper Cranberry Sauce

Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam is is a step up from your favorite hot pepper jelly. The tart and tangy cranberries marry up perfectly with the heat of the hot pepper for one memorable taste experience. 

Hot Pepper Cranberry Sauce, the perfect appetizer for the holidays!

4 ingredients for hot pepper cranberry jam

  • cranberries ~ either fresh or frozen
  • jalapeño peppers ~ You can use other types of hot pepper in this jam, for instance cayenne or habanero pepper will also work. You can even use red pepper flakes
  • sugar
  • apple cider vinegar

don’t save fresh cranberries just for the holidays

Buy extra to stash in the freezer for the rest of the year! Cranberries are special. They’re one of only three fruits native to North America, (along with blueberries and Concord grapes) they’re loaded with antioxidants, they have an explosive flavor, and a brilliant color— they should really have a life beyond November. This sauce can mingle with roast beef, chicken, pork, and lamb all year long. It can be the star of your next cheese plate, and it would be killer on sandwiches, brats, and burgers. Get creative with this amazing berry!

Making Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam

Plain cranberry sauce is about the easiest recipe on the planet, and it’s a perfect thing to assign to one of the kids. My youngest daughter has claimed simple cranberry sauce as ‘her’ dish, and every Thanksgiving she makes it and gets raves.

Making Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam with Jalapeños

This is one for the adults though; it’s kicked up with fresh hot jalapeño pepper and a dash of vinegar. Hot pepper and cranberries are one of those unexpected pairings that just works, the zingy sweet tart flavor of the cranberries can stand up to the heat of the peppers and the two together make quite a party in the mouth. One word of caution — make sure you warn people before you plop this down on your Thanksgiving table!

Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam in a Weck jar

TIP: You can’t always predict the level of heat you’re going to get because hot peppers can vary greatly, even within the same variety. One seeded pepper will usually give you a sauce with a kick, but on the tamer side. Use two peppers if you want a more pronounced heat. The high sugar content dampens the heat a bit.

hot pepper cranberry jam on a cracker

Psssssst: put some on a cracker on top of cream cheese or soft goat cheese. You won’t be able to stop stuffing them in your mouth. I swear.

TIP: I like to use smaller jars for hot pepper jelly ~ it works perfectly for adding to a cheese plate, and you can keep the rest fresh in the fridge for another day.

weck jars
WECK JARS are favorites of mine, you see them over and over again on my blog. They’re glass jars from Germany, originally developed for canning, but they can be used for so much more. I have trouble keeping a supply in my kitchen because they have a tendency to ‘go missing’.
They come in lots of shapes and sizes, from the small tulip shaped ones, above, to giant 1 litre or larger bottles for juice, etc. They’re all glass, with rubber seals and cute little clamps to hold everything tight. If you’re making hot pepper jelly to serve to give away, these are the perfect jars.

“I am addicted to this jelly! I made it last year and we were ready to fight over the last jar! As soon as the cranberries showed up in the store this year, I started stocking up to make batches of this maroon gold. Extra hot is our favorite!”

Cranberry Hatch Hot Pepper Jam ~
3.53 from 126 votes

Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam

Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam is is a step up from your favorite hot pepper jelly. The tart and tangy cranberries marry up perfectly with the heat of the hot pepper for one memorable taste experience. 
Course Appetizer, Jam
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 2.25 cups
Calories 26kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers seeded and minced (leave the seeds in if you like more heat)
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar


  • Rinse the berries and put in a pot. Add the water, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. The berries will start to pop, so stand back a bit. Once the sauce has come to a boil, it will be foaming and the berries will no longer be popping, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Take off the heat and stir in the minced peppers. Let the sauce cool completely. Then transfer it to clean jars. Refrigerate until set. Cranberry sauce firms up as it cools, and eventually it will be of a spreadable consistency, perfect for sandwiches and cheese plates.
  • Jam will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Freeze for longer storage.


Serving: 1Tbsp | Calories: 26kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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  • Reply
    Robin Martin Scott
    December 23, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    5 stars
    I am addicted to this jelly! I made it last year and we were ready to fight over the last jar! As soon as the cranberries showed up in the store this year, I started stocking up to make batches of this maroon gold! Extra hot is our favorite!

    • Reply
      December 23, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      I’ve got to make some tomorrow, I guess I better make extra! Love how you call it ‘maroon gold’ 🙂

  • Reply
    December 9, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Does it have to be stored in the fridge?
    Can you hot can it?

    • Reply
      December 9, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Yes, since this is a small batch recipe that isn’t canned, you’ll need to keep it refrigerated.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Making this tonight , had frozen hot peppers in the freezer , will see if anyone likes it for thanksgiving

  • Reply
    November 11, 2018 at 6:05 am

    I love making jelly’s with a kick to them. I’m currently making Apricot Habanero. Omg so good!
    I am really eyeing all your fabulous looking recipes. For now I’d like to try
    Cranberry. How long can this be made ahead of time? And how long is it good for? I’m always using pectin and water bath to can them.
    I will make this for appetizer jelly for Thanksgiving. Will it last that long in fridge? Thank you

    • Reply
      November 11, 2018 at 6:33 am

      Apricot habanero sounds a-mazing. I would say it will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge, but you can freeze any of these jams for a longer shelf life, Sherese.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Looking for a pepper jam with peppers more prominent recipe.
    Using surejell or another pectin like surejell

  • Reply
    October 24, 2018 at 3:53 am

    Can you can this, like you would pepper jam?

    • Reply
      October 24, 2018 at 8:26 am

      I’m not sure since I made this as a small batch refrigerator jam. The question is whether the jalapeños would alter the ph of the final jam, it needs to have a ph of 4.6 or below to be safe for canning.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Can I substitute canned whole cranberry sause for the fresh cranberries?

    • Reply
      September 29, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      No in the case, sorry Roselie! What you could do is add some finely diced jalapeño to your canned sauce, that will give you a little heat.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Can this be doubled and water bathed??

    • Reply
      September 23, 2018 at 10:45 am

      You can double it for sure, but I haven’t tried canning it, Brenda, you’d have to make sure the ph was correct. Cranberries are high in acid, so it should be safe, but you might add some lemon juice to be sure.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    how long will the jam keep if refrigerated? i wanted to make this into a holiday gift

    • Reply
      December 4, 2017 at 6:50 am

      It will keep about a month, Mindy!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Can you please tell me , how many jars does the original recipe make? Would like to make enough for Christmas too, including a few gifts. Would like to do all at once. thank you. Liked this recipe better than any of the others I read.
    thanks again,

    • Reply
      November 7, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      It makes about 2 1/4 cups, Beverly, so it will depend on the size of your jars.

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